Most of us associate cotton with its fiber. A by-product of cotton fiber production is the leftover seeds. One item that can be made from the seed is cottonseed oil, but that […]
What is the value of using crop wild relatives in potato breeding?
It may surprise you to learn that wild potatoes grow like weeds in South America. While farmers in the United States battle weeds like pigweed and lamb’s quarters, farmers in the Andes […]
How do plant partnerships help sustainability?
We are all familiar with human partnerships of many kinds, both mundane and fictional. In the mundane category is your typical carpool. In the fictional category are superheroes working together to save […]
Flavorful crops and their breeding challenges
When we think of food crops, we usually think of the basics. Wheat, corn, soy, potato and vegetable crops. These staple foods help sustain us for needed calories and nutrition. But, what […]
How are scientists making wheat more climate resilient?
Like humans, plants experience stress. One of those stresses is temperature changes. And, to continue having food security in a changing climate, scientists are working to make more heat resilient crops. Wheat […]
Polyploidy – or how do we get seedless fruit?
It’s quite possible that you have seen a commercial for “23 and Me”, advertising an ancestral DNA test. The “23” represents the DNA in a human being, contained in 23 chromosomes. Now […]
The future of plant disease management
Just like human beings, plants get sick. Microorganisms such as fungi, oomycetes, bacteria, viruses and nematodes (tiny worm like organisms) can infect their plant hosts, with deadly consequences. This might not be […]
What are the factors that determine seed germination?
When you buy your packet of squash seeds each spring, you plant them in the ground, and expect plants to sprout! It seems like an easy process, but there’s a lot of […]
Do crops have different metabolisms – like people?
Are you friends with a person who can eat anything they want and still not gain weight? Part of that could be in how their body metabolizes the food they eat. Of […]
Why do we need to keep breeding new crop varieties?
Global warming and changes in the amount – and location – of water, are key factors in the need to continue crop breeding programs. In addition, there are many diseases that affect […]